Proposition 8, which was passed by voters in November 2008, altered the California state constitution to ban same-sex marriages. It was later declared unconstitutional by a federal court. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing, which allowed the lower court's decision to stand.
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According to contribution records on the website of the Secretary of State for California, Eich, who was named Mozilla CEO earlier this week, donated $1,000 in October 2008 to ProtectMarriage.com, a collection of conservative and religious political activist groups. Altogether, ProtectMarriage.com raised $40 million to support the ballot proposition.
On Thursday and within a 15-minute stretch, several Mozilla employees used Twitter to make identical or similar announcements, calling for Eich to step down.
"Like many @Mozilla staff, I'm taking a stand. I do not support the Board's appointment of @BrendanEich as CEO," tweeted Kat Braybrooke, a curation and co-design lead at the firm.
"I'm an employee of @mozilla and I'm asking @BrendanEich to step down as CEO," added John Bevan, who works on Mozilla partnership.
Others who also asked Eich to resign included Jess Klein, creative lead for Mozilla Open Badges; Chris McAvoy, who also works on Open Badges; Sydney Moyer, an engagement and communications assistant; and Dan Sinker, who heads up the Mozilla-Knight OpenNews project.
Paula Le Dieu, a senior director at Mozilla, went one step further: In a short post to her personal blog, Le Dieu said she was taking an unpaid leave.
"I can't walk away from these people [at Mozilla] nor the cause I share with them nor the potential for Mozilla to once again be known as the champion to all but neither can I continue to earn my living from Mozilla while it is seen to exclude and alienate anyone," Le Dieu wrote. "So as of today, I am on unpaid leave."
Eich's contribution to ProtectMarriage.com had made news before. In 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported on a spate of 5,000 tweets on the subject as people lambasted the donation and defended Eich's right to separate his personal and political beliefs from his job.
Eich was Mozilla's chief technology officer at the time, a position he held until his promotion Monday to CEO.